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No, she could barely speak about peaches
–suns in baskets on tables–on the
table inside. She'd seen them!
edible creatures, she told me,
hanging like apples in Eden. "And even
the light was like I'm dreaming!" A dream
like a movie: impatient–so clear-
alarm, so cool you could see machines
helped make it. A long picture of hanging
peaches, a pair of sun-hot juice-cool peaches
with human faces under green-blue leaves,
from which, one said aloud to the other,
hung not far but separately: "So. Even we
are afraid just now," as if their bees
had been suddenly killed. And "Yes,"
said the other, "but the fear may end."
Said the first: "Will it end soon?"
The air was white and orchard-blue
with smoke. She saw them in closeup.
"But wait," one said, "I loved
the knife that pushed, pushed harder,
against my self–sharp, on edge,
cold as metallic water." Last night
it broke the silence: "It cut my
brown, sweet bruise out!" speaking wildly.
"It cut my too sweet heart right out."
Elizabeth Macklin is the author of the poetry collections A Woman Kneeling in the Big City and You’ve Just Been Told, and is the translator of the Basque poet Kirmen Uribe’s Meanwhile Take My Hand, among other works. She is currently at work on a third book of poems.
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